Uncaged: The Singular Menace – John Sandford and Michele Cook
The book begins with Shay Remby looking for her missing brother Odin who is a computer genius but mildly autistic. She traces him to Hollywood where he’s joined a group calling themselves Storm. They break into research facilities and rescue abused animals. This time however they’ve picked the wrong one. The Singular Corporation is doing much more than the benevolent medical research they claim they’re doing, and they’re experimenting on more than animals. They are ruthless and won’t let anyone get in their way. Shay is a great heroine who is strong, fearless, and imaginative. I found myself rooting for her throughout the entire book. I wish the authors had put a little more of Odin in, but maybe the next book. The secondary characters are interesting especially the enigmatic Twist who becomes Shays mentor. The plot is interesting and incredibly fast paced. At the beginning this was a problem for me because I felt I was bouncing from person to person and it was getting confusing but I soon found myself dragged into the story anyway. Uncaged is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s extremely violent and animal lovers should particularly beware. I don’t think this is a book for the younger end of the YA audience. That said however, if you or someone you know likes high octane adventure thrillers I’d give this a try.
Reviewed by Kim
The Fallen – Dale Bailey
Sauls Run is the epitome of small town America. Everyone knows each other and while not the most exciting place to live, it’s safe and peaceful. Or so it seems. Like peeling back the latest of an onion, when you start looking closely Sauls Run is anything but average. First, there is absolutely no violence. Not even the occasional bar fight. Also, people generally die of old age in this town. There’s really no illness or deaths resulting from violence. That is except for every few years there’s a short cycle where there are fights, the occasional murder, and people die from cancer, heart attacks, etc… Then there’s also the mystery of the “monstrous” creature living deep down inside the mines just outside of town. Does this strange entity have anything to do with the odd occurrances, and if so, why? Henry Sleep who ran from his hometown several years ago is back because his father who was the Reverend of Sauls Run supposedly committed suicide. Henry doesn’t believe this though and he along with his estranged childhood friend, his ex-girl friend, and an old beat reporter band together to find out not only what really happened to Reverend Sleep, but also what is happening with the town, and what is the mysterious creature in the mines.First the bad news. The plot of The Fallen is extremely predictable. Starting with the title I knew (mostly), what the entity in the mines was, which led me to connect some of the other mysteries. But, the characters are truly interesting. I loved Henry and his determination to discover what’s happening despite his inner voice screaming at him to leave. His friends were colorful, and even the villain went against the stereotypes. I actually found myself feeling a small amount of sympathy for him. I sped through the book thanks to the short chapters with each ending in a mini cliffhanger. I knew what was going to happen, but I had to make sure. Finally, I think the reason why this book appealed to me so much was that it reminded me of some of the early works by some of my favorite authors like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Bentley Little. I would definitely recommend this to fans of horror that makes you stay up late.
Reviewed by Kim