Ready Player One

Ready Player One

By Ernest Cline

Review by Kate Boyle

I just finished Ready Player One for the third time in three years. An exciting, futuristic romp with a 1980s nostalgic twist, I find Ready Player One firmly embedded on my top ten list. I find, however, that it isn’t all that easy to describe.

Living in the stacks of Oklahoma City (literally stacks of trailers,) Wade Watt’s derives joy from one thing. He searches for deceased tech guru James Halliday’s easter eggs in the OASIS. Life on Earth is bad. Extreme poverty and dangerous climate change has driven the majority of society to seek solace in the OASIS, a virtual reality world where you can do pretty much anything. Continue reading

Word Exchange

word-exchangeThe Word Exchange

By Alena Graedon

Review by Zoey Mills

In the not-so-distant future, the death of print has become a reality. Memes, or handheld “smart” devices, are seemingly taking over the world. Not only does the handheld device keep us in communication but it can also hail a cab, order take-out, or even look up definitions of words with one simple thought. Anana Johnson, and her father Doug, are editing the final printed edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language. But, when Doug mysteriously disappears two nights prior to the publication, Anana goes into a panic in search of him, only to uncover a much more dangerous plot, than she ever imagined. Join Anana and Bart as they race against time, The Word Flu, aphasia, and so much more as they not only try to find her father, but also save the printed word.

Continue reading

Horrorstör

HorrorstörHorrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Review by Angie Andre

I have lived in the hell many of you know as retail for over 20 years.  I appreciated the craziness, impossible expectations, prison like mentality, always selling, selling, selling. Horrorstör is a retail nightmare for its employees. This knock off Ikea superstore in Ohio is a strange place to work.  Unexplainable things happen. Sales are low and management wants to know why.  Three employees decide to stay overnight and figure out what is happening when the lights go off at night. This is where Hendrix lost me. Continue reading

Chronicles of the Black Company

Chronicles of the Black CompanyChronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook

Review by Joe Sherwood

You ever want to spend some time with an old friend or visit a place you’ve been before? That’s the way I felt a week ago or so, and I picked up Glen Cook’s, Chronicles (Annals) of the Black Company (the first 3 books in one volume) and sat down to have a rollicking good time. It’s a classic sword and sorcery epic tale with love and hate, politics, and maybe just a little romance…

It’s a straightforward quick read, but yet, I keep coming back every few years and reading it again and enjoying it every time. Continue reading

Outlander

Outlander DVDOutlander BookReview by Stephanie Bragg

Outlander TV series based on the book series Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Scotland is a land filled with a rich history, traditions, and magic. Claire and Frank are on their second honeymoon in 1945 in the Scottish Highlands after being kept apart by WWII. Out by herself Claire steps through a cleft in the stones atop Craigh Na Dun and finds herself 200 years in the past. The year is now 1743 and Claire is a woman alone in the woods and confronted by a man that looks just like her husband. But this man isn’t Frank, he’s Frank’s ancestor Jack Randall a vicious Red Coat Captain. Claire is rescued from the grips of Black Jack Randall by one of the Scottish clans and meets host of interesting characters, including the dashing and swoon worthy James Fraser. Follow Claire though adjusting to her new daily life, romance, and the most important decision she may ever make.

Diana Gabaldon creates a vivid glimpse into life in the Scottish Highlands in 1743 and the dangers of being a single woman during this time. Her writing style is simple and clear. I found this book to be an easy read but that doesn’t mean the story or her characters are simple. Jamie and Claire rich characters with many sides, as are the supporting characters.

Outlander is now a series on Starz. The first season spans the entire first book. If you aren’t aware, Outlander is also a series with eight books. I actually watched the series before reading the book and loved every second. There’s real danger for Claire in this new world and she must rely on the few she trusts to help her navigate. Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan were made for these roles.

The thing that struck me most about the series as I was reading the book was how seamlessly the writers used original book dialogue on the show. It’s not easy to take text from a book and make it organic in a series or movie.

Book or Series… Series or Book. You can’t go wrong.

Check availability on Outlander Season One Volume One

Check availability on Outlander Season One Volume Two

Check availability on the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon:

Outlander
Dragonfly in Amber
Voyager
The Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

About the reviewer: Reference staff member is an avid Comic Con attendee, Doctor Who fan & mom to Stormageddeon, Dark Lord of All: aka Nolan.

Gateway by Sharon Shinn

GatewayReview by: Laurie Doan

When Daiyu leaves behind the city of St. Louis she finds herself in another version of the Gateway to the West. In this version, almost everyone is Chinese like herself. She has been recruited to help stop a dangerous politician who threatens the very fabric of Shenglang. Daiyu must first get close to Chenglei which means she must attend the annual Presentation Ball. Thrown into a crash course of manners and dress and formal dances, Daiyu also finds herself in a crash course of love. As she partners with Kalen to learn the patterns of the traditional tiaowu dance she finds herself in a dizzying spin of emotions. When they are separated so that she can go to live with the woman convinced to take her in as her “niece“, Daiyu finds ways to go behind Xiang’s back and meet Kalen at the aviary where he works. As she draws close to Kalenshe finds her old life may be slipping away. In a playful moment, Kalen laughed as he asked her to stay in Shenglang with him.

“‘There’s a thought! You could stay in Shenglang. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about me being lonely after all.’ Continue reading