March 17, 2015

Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson

From his grandmother, Alex Cross has heard the story of his great uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a novel he's written--a novel called Trial.

Connected by blood

As a lawyer in turn-of-the-century Washington D.C., Ben Corbett represents the toughest cases. Fighting against oppression and racism, he risks his family and his life in the process. When President Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his home town to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse.

United by bravery

When he arrives in Eudora, Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful granddaughter, Moody. Ben enlists their help, and the two Crosses introduce him to the hidden side of the idyllic Southern town. Lynchings have become commonplace and residents of the town's black quarter live in constant fear. Ben aims to break the reign of terror--but the truth of who is really behind it could break his heart.
This book is quite a step away from the regular Alex Cross novels, but it is every bit as intriguing… and much more disturbing.
It tackles the history of the Cross family led by one Abraham Cross a strong and extremely intelligent man living in the KKK dominated South.

It was hard not to cringe at some of the things going on in this book because the way people were, and still are, treated due to skin color is just plain sickening. It is one of those books that you don’t really want to believe, but know that there is some historical accuracy laced into every page.

It was a good book, but hard to get through for reasons above. I say any fan of the Cross series should definitely give it a shot even though it is separate from the main series.

4/5 Stars

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February 18, 2015

Revival by Stephen King

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs -- including Jamie's mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family's horrific loss. In his mid-thirties -- addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate -- Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil's devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It's a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.
My first and only experience reading a King book before this one was IT. I did enjoy it, but it dragged on and seemed to have too many pointless side stories. I was a little worried that it would happen again with my next King book.

I was wrong.

This book was electrical. Pun may or may not be intended. Moving on from the puns, it was fast paced, interesting, and entertaining.

The two main characters were extremely well developed. Part of this is because the book spans over five decades. There is a lot to learn about Jamie and Charles. In saying that, there isn’t so much to learn that it is overwhelming.

This book deals with drug abuse, death, and religion. It has a lot of rough and sad moments, but there are many more action packed moments to go along with it.

It was interesting to see how Jamie and Charles changed as they grew older. A man who could have been seen as a mentor to Jamie becomes his worst nightmare.

I loved this book and found it really hard to put down.

5/5 Stars

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February 17, 2015

The Journals of Taylor Hart: Inside the Mind of a School Shooter by Dan Andrews

An extraordinary, disturbingly powerful collection of journals, The Journals of Taylor Hart is a collection of writings penned by a lonely, violent, and yet brilliant young man, spanning across more than four of his most formative years—culminating in the ultimate end of murder and slaughter on a university campus, giving the reader a once in a lifetime opportunity to glimpse into the mind of an individual capable of committing a mass school shooting.

On Monday, December 29th, 2008, Taylor Hart began writing his journals in spiral-bound notebooks. Obsessively, he recorded everything ranging from his thought provoking philosophical views down to beautiful short stories, even down to entries that could be described as nothing other than the products of raw emotion— insanity driven rants.

After four years of spiraling downward, Taylor’s maniacal and sociopathic progression collapses, concluding with his suicide in his university’s observatory and with the confiscation of his writings, but now, after some time, Dan Andrews has reacquired his former close friend’s unpublished journals. Published with all of Taylor’s originality intact, laced with timeless existential questions and violence, The Journals of Taylor Hart forces the reader to confront the question, “Who is the next person on the brink of committing the world’s next atrocity?”
Intriguing and disturbing all at once

Taylor Hart’s journals take you through the mind of a seriously tortured soul. Following him for four years, you can see the insanity building up as it gets closer to the end.

There were many entries where I found myself cringing and feeling ill. These scenes usually involved animals.

Going into this, I was expecting to see a few more entries written about what lead to his murder spree and suicide. But, I suppose the whole book is a build up to that.

There are many entries that make you think, and some that you may even agree with.

It is an interesting fiction look into a mind full of demons.
That being said, I was hoping for just a bit more.

3/5 stars.

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