Out of Time: Predicting the Science of Future Centuries and Millenia educates readers on the universe and how it is infinite and eternal, but scientifically created. It is written by Australian author Rodney Bartlett, who describes himself as a ‘citizen scientist’. It is clear that the author is very passionate and knowledgeable about this subject.
Out of Time has a simple to follow structure; it is structured into chapters, sections and subsections. These are all detailed in the Table of Contents at the beginning of the text, enabling the reader to select specific chapters or subsections to read. Some of the chapters are long, whilst others are quite short, dependent on the subject. Overall the text is well structured, and tighter editing of the sentences would enhance its readability.
In this illuminating book the author switches from using scientific and mathematical phrases and jargon to more conversational language, which keeps things moving but consistently informative. The choice of more informal language allows the book to be more accessible to a wider audience.
I appreciated the numerous references provided throughout the book, which indicates that the authors has researched this topic thoroughly, and it allowed me to follow the subject in other text which greatly expanded my understanding of the ideas discussed. I think that consistent formatting in the reference lists would allow readers to find the article or book easier if they want to do further research.
There are multiple references to well-known scientists throughout the book such as; Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Galileo, and Kepler. This is helpful in linking older scientific research with newer scientific theories and theories and I liked how this placed the work in historical context and gave the impression that this idea transcends time.
Out of Time: Predicting the Science of Future Centuries and Millenia is a well-researched and highly enlightening book. The author makes a very complex subject accessible to everyday readers. It is always a pleasure to read a book written by such a passionate author.
Pages: 132 | ISBN: 6203573957
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Heavenly is a fascinating and stirring contemporary fiction novel that explores the themes of second chances, priorities, love and hope. It follows the remarkable journey of John, a man who is suddenly killed and, instead of being admitted to heaven he is given a second chance at life by returning to earth as another man, Peter.
Duffy gives a very detailed description of John’s physical appearance, and later, Peter’s physical appearance. The effect of this is twofold. Firstly, the reader gets a feeling for the characters and the characters begin to come alive. Secondly, the reader begins to see how much value John, and later Peter, place on physical appearance – both themselves, but also in those that they attempt to form relationships with. Set in the present day in various cities in the U.S., the setting is described, but not in great detail. It does seem authentic but doesn’t give the reader the feeling of being immersed in the setting.
Although the story opens with John, there are really two main characters in this contemplative story, Peter and Tara. Both of these characters are fairly well developed. Peter, a middle-aged man appears to be overly interested in how women look and is constantly concerned about money. Although he has been given a second chance at life, he doesn’t know this. Tara is on a very different journey, although her life also focuses on money. Both characters yearn for love, this is evident in their dialogue with other characters, with each other, and their inner dialogues. Both characters also switch between having hope and feeling hopeless. There are also a number of smaller, but equally intriguing characters, whom often offer sage advice to the main characters.
Heavenly is a well-structured literary fiction novel that I found to be easy to follow. Although John and Peter are similar, it is clear from the structure which character is speaking. The structure follows Peter’s life as he ages, and the reader continually asks themselves – is he going to use his second chance wisely?
Heavenly is an intelligent and poignant novel exploring themes of hope, love and second chances in refreshing and satisfying ways.
Pages: 234 | ASIN: B08Z2ZG5SR
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Man, Kind follows two women on a headlong and perilous journey that may decide the fate of humanity. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I’ve always been fascinated with post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. It’s both fun and terrifying to imagine a demolished world where there are little resources left and even fewer people to share them with. However, the genre as a whole was beginning to feel a little stale for me. The question always is, “How do I get rid of most of the people on Earth?” and the answer has almost always been nuclear war, global pandemics, or zombie outbreaks. But why not the real, much more imminent threat of climate change? And why must a mysterious, indestructible male savior always lead the way in these tales? I knew there had to be a more interesting, compelling, and grounded way to approach the apocalypse, and that’s what I set out to do when writing “Man, Kind”.
Juno was an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Juno, the thirteen year old protagonist of “Man, Kind”, was meant to experience the post-climate-changed world alongside the reader. From the very first pages you discover that Juno had just been abandoned by her mother and now has to navigate this new, frightening, and violent world on her own. You both have questions, and you both want answers, and you get to embark on her epic journey together.
One of my favorite traits of Juno’s is that she’s also relentlessly curious. Whether she’s exploring an abandoned building, interacting with dubious characters, or simply taking a break to write down her own thoughts in a journal, you’re always right there with her; feeling what she’s feeling, wondering what she’s wondering, and smiling when she’s smiling.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Climate change is the primary one. Mainly, how does humanity live on after mother nature has exacted her revenge? It’s true that human pollution not only affects the weather, but also our own bodies at the cellular level. Plastics, fossil fuels, greed, they all play a part in our current world as well as “Man, Kind’s” future one. So how do we cope with such truths? And what can we do about it now?
The other themes I wanted to cover were grief and kindness; the “kind” of “Man, Kind”. Many, if not all, of the characters in this story are grey characters. They’ve all suffered losses, they all have their own motives, and not one of them fully trusts the other. I really wanted to drive home the question, “Will kindness still play a role in the wasteland?”
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently on the home stretch of an illustrated short story compilation called “Destination Earth”. Each story deals with existential questions we must ask ourselves throughout our lives, but told through weird, dark, and often humorous points of view. Available fall of this year.
Posted in Interviews
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Skylar Robbins has been preparing for this for months. Daniel made a promise to be her partner in the next ACE adventure, and she believes he meant what he said. As part of the elite group of students who take part in the Accelerated Courses and Experiments program, Skylar and Daniel are no strangers to adventure and mystery. The only mystery right now, however, is how Hannah Hilton made it into the program and why Daniel seems to have forgotten that Skylar exists. What promised to be a fantastic summer is now looking like a huge disappointment. Will the trip to Koma Island turn things around for Skylar or will it be more than they all bargained for?
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol, by Carrie Cross, is centered around young Skylar Robbins–gifted and talented and a member of ACE. With all the angst and stresses of late middle and early high school years, she is the perfect protagonist for today’s young readers. It is refreshing to still see writers placing an intelligent and forward-thinking female lead in their stories, and Skylar rivals and surpasses the budding detectives many of us are used to–Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. Kudos to Cross for putting motivated and capable young women at the forefront of her series. Our middle school readers need to see this more regularly.
Mysteries need to pop. They need to move quickly and hold the reader’s interest, especially when younger readers are the group toward which a series is aimed. Cross is a master at this. Skylar thinks quickly on her feet, and her friendship with Alexa provides a nice sounding board for her ideas. There lies within Cross’s work an amazing little cast of characters that provides readers with plenty of opportunities to visualize a vast array of personality types. It’s nice to see such a well-drawn cast of characters–all having wonderful quirks and offering their own contributions to Skylar’s role in the story.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol, by Carrie Cross is a rip-roaring young adult adventure/romance story that will keep readers on their toes. Centered around current technology and full of references younger readers will appreciate, this book has everything needed to engage readers and keep them coming back for more from Skylar and her gifted cohort.
Pages: 237 | ASIN: B08P5VXBQ5
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Set in early twentieth-century New York, A Place to Hide by David Salner narrates the story of Bill Waite, a fugitive. He escapes from Montana’s merciless boss and arrives in New York in the hope of starting a new chapter in life. There he discovers a friend and confidant in Virgil Shulman, who helps him secure a job.
Shulman is the first-ever man of Jewish descent that Waite meets, and he learns a great deal about the Yiddish culture, history, and religion. While trying to help a child, Waite falls in love with her mother, and finally finds happiness in life after years of suffering. But his peace doesn’t last long as he comes into the public eye via newspaper coverage after saving someone’s life. To know how he manages to dodge these circumstances and find the light at the end of the tunnel, you have to dive into this gripping novel.
A Place to Hide has an intriguing narrative that delves into a fugitive’s psyche and allows us to explore his side of the story. The author skillfully conveys thought-provoking messages through this work while keeping the readers glued to the pages. Waite is wholeheartedly embraced by the new culture that he finds himself in, and he learns to celebrate the differences among religions, rather than having a biased outlook on life. While working on the tunnel-making project, the tremendously risky job ties the workers in a single thread, where nation, race, or religion become irrelevant. They share a camaraderie untainted by the worldly evils that attempt to discriminate and differentiate one human from another.
Throughout this action-packed novel, I was surprised by the consistently high level of intrigue throughout the novel, possibly due to the authentic and emotive characters. This riveting historical fiction story offers insight into the lives of people during the 1920s, the prevalent societal issues and morality, bound together with suspense and a touch of humor.
The powerful storytelling, the lucid language, the carefully crafted plot, the thrilling action, and the element of suspense are some of the key aspects that make this book a must-read. A Place to Hide is an emotionally resonant and stimulating story that is as exciting as it is enlightening.
Pages: 216 | ASIN: B08TWGQP43
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Phoebe Douse: The Return has a dramatic turn of events that test the students abilities and reveal Phoebe’s destiny. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?
New ideas introduced would be that book 2 answered some unanswered questions from book 1. An important part of Phoebe’s identity is revealed. And the elements of life and death danger and fear, I believe, are intensified.
I thought this story was fun and I enjoyed the unique twists. What was the funnest scene for you to write?
I’m so happy you enjoyed all the different twists and turns in the story! One of the funnest scenes to write was the chapter called, The Factory. I wanted it to have a very intense, mysterious vibe that heightened the drama of the story and have a big reveal. Definitely a chapter that I like to reread, even on its own.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
My main challenges were setting mini deadlines for writing so that I could finish the book on time. Another challenge was making sure that I remained true to each character as the plot developed. I knew I wanted there to be growth and conflict within each character as well as between characters, but at the same time, I didn’t want to veer away from the essence of who each of them are.
This is book two in the Phoebe Douse Trilogy. What can readers expect in the final book?
Honestly, this is still a mystery even to me. I’m currently outlining the plot, which has been a bit tricky since I have so many ideas and ways in which I’m imagining the story could go. I’ve decided that I’m not going to plan too much ahead. For book 3, I’d like for the story to develop organically. So I’m excited to see where this final book will take me!
Posted in Interviews
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Perfect: A Path to Love, Forgiveness and Transformation by Judi Miller is a combination of memoir and a spiritual and motivational self-help book. The main focus is learning how to actually feel your emotions in your body rather than creating negative stories in your head about the events that caused the emotion. The author tells of her personal journey to overcome fear and find her purpose and the path that led her to become the person she was meant to be. The book is divided in to three parts and at the end of each section, Judi provides exercises to put the principles she describes into practice to benefit the reader. Additional resources at the back of the book include a list of her mentors and their websites.
I liked reading about the different people that helped Judi on her journey, especially her healer, Diana, and Spencer the dog. A few of the names that were mentioned were ones that many readers will recognize, since they are well known persons. But most of the names were new to me. I was inspired by the way that Judi kept working to process her feelings despite obstacles and setbacks. One example is how she had to accept that she might never learn all the answers about the secrets she discovered in her family’s past. I liked how she acknowledged that she still struggles at times, but she does not allow that to make her give up.
Judi hid so much from her family and friends and she never mentioned sharing any these things with them in the end, which I would have liked to see. She felt so close with her healer that she could talk about all this to Diana even though it was sometimes delayed. It was mentioned multiple times that Judi did not feel as though she could share the things she was going through with her family because of the fear that she would not be believed or they would not understand.
Perfect: A Path to Love, Forgiveness and Transformation is an uplifting memoir detailing an inspirational personal testimony that affected me greatly. Judi Miller’s impassioned book will take readers on a compelling and contemplative journey that will stay with them long after they are done reading.
Pages: 207 | ASIN: B08CWTLH78
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The Buzz Boys is the tragic and haunting tale of the lives and losses of the self-proclaimed Buzz Boys. Told predominantly from the perspective of Robby Mazzara, the reader witnesses the horrifying events that occur and the dire choices the characters make. The story gets progressively more haunting and tragic as the boys grow up and are unable to reconcile their past abuse and disappointment. The reader’s heart will surely ache for the boys and their loved ones who all struggle as a result of both the boys’ past and their inability to come to terms with it.
The Buzz Boys is written with such care and dedication that readers will feel as though they are watching a movie with incredible detail and precision. The writing is detailed and tasteful despite the horrific and brutal events and subjects discussed. Small details and peeks into the thoughts of the characters will help readers understand the seeming explosion of events that culminates in a series of deaths and suicides. The author also captures the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood very well. The children and their idiosyncrasies and immature beliefs are well-done and draw the reader into their little world which erodes as they grow up. The voice and tone of the story suits the material well and there are many quick twists and turns that take the reader by surprise. In the voice and tone of the novel, the author also manages to make each Buzz Boy distinct and lovable which makes their downfall all the more distressing.
The Buzz Boys had me hooked from the first page and I felt all of the characters’ pain and despaired with them. It is a tale that reflects a lot of the more upsetting aspects of life and brings awareness to childhood trauma and the far-reaching effects on victims and their families. This book will take readers on an emotional journey both beautiful and full of joy and sorrow. I highly recommend it.
Pages: 339 | ASIN: B091383PC2
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